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Battery Maintenance FAQ

Charging your batteries

  • New batteries should receive an initial charge for 16 to 24 hours in a trickle or slow charger. If a rapid charger is used, leave the battery in the charger 1 to 2 hours after the green light appears.
  • A recently charged new battery will seldom yield the expected duty cycle until it has been charged and discharged fully at least three times.
  • Continuously topping off a battery in a charger before it is fully discharged in use will reduce the duty cycle by inducing voltage depression (memory). Ideally, a battery should be fully discharged in use before placing it in the charger.

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Battery shelf life

NiCad NiMH Li-Ion Alkaline LP
1 year 6 months 1 year 1 year 10 years (disposable)

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How long do batteries last?

NiCad NiMH Li-Ion
600 cycles 400 cycles 400 cycles

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What is a cycle?

A cycle is when a battery is charged & discharged.

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What is memory effect?

  • "Memory effect" is a term used to describe a voltage depression in a battery.
  • Memory effect usually develops due to a certain usage/charging profile.
  • Memory effect can typically be reversed if the battery is conditioned (several times) and recharged.
  • Memory effect is usually noticed due to reduction in talk time.

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What are the different types of chargers?

  • Slow (Trickle or Overnite): By its definition, provides a small charge to the battery. Designed to take approximately between 10-16 hours to fully recharge the battery.
  • Rapid: Designed to charge a battery within 30 minutes to 3 hours. Designed to fully charge the battery, if the battery is completely discharged.
  • Conditioner: Designed to fully discharge the battery before recharging. After discharging will rapid charge the battery to maximum capacity.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different battery chemistries?

Chemistry Advantages Disadvantages
NiCad/NiCd
Nickel Cadmium
  • High energy density
  • High heat tolerance
  • Longest cycle life
  • Wide ambient temperature range for charging
  • Economical (lowest cost)
  • Not biodegradable
  • Lowest duty cycle
  • Susceptible to "memory" effect
NiMH
Nickel Metal Hydride
  • Higher energy density
  • Longer duty cycle
  • Biodegradable
  • Minimum "memory" problems
  • Shorter cycle life (70% of cadmium)
  • Low tolerance to heat
  • Self-discharges when not in use
  • Shorter ambient temperature range for charging
  • Higher cost
Li-Ion
Lithium Ion
  • Highest energy density
  • Longest duty cycle
  • Biodegradable
  • No "memory" problems
  • Higher cycle life (80% of cadmium)
  • Very low tolerance to heat
  • Very high cost
  • Volatility raises safety concerns

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How do I get the longest life and best performace out of my Multiplier batteries?

Multiplier supplies a notice on battery maintenance for every shipment. The information is as follows:

NOTE: Multiplier batteries are not fully charged when shipped. They must be charged before use.

For Longest Life & Best Performace

  • Charge the battery to full capacity. 14 hours at the standard C/10 rate (capacity X .10). For "rapid" chargers, allow additional time (2-3 hours) for "topping off" the charge after it switches from "charging" to "complete".
  • Use the battery soon and use as much of the battery capacity as possible or practical. A battery that is charged and discharged completely will maintain the longest running time capacity. Also, several charge/discharge cycles are recommended to bring a new battery up to its rated capacity.
  • Store and charge the batteries at room temperature 65°F to 75°F. Batteries that have been stored for over a month should be recharged before putting the batteries into service, due to chemical self-discharge which occurs at a rate of approximately 1% per day. Do not charge cold batteries (40°F or below).
  • Reduced capacity, or "memory effect", may result from repeated identical shallow discharge/full recharge cycles. If such a condition is suspected, run the battery until the instrument loses all power, than fully recharge and discharge again. Repeat this cycle 3-4 times. Full usable capacity then becomes available.

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